Xbox Lands Top Programming Exec

Former CBS Entertainment chief Nancy Tellem to oversee new Microsoft studio

The Xbox is more popular as an entertainment device than gaming console, and is looking to take its ballooning TV footprint to another level.

Late Tuesday the company announced its hiring of Nancy Tellem to launch an original programming group within Xbox. Tellem, an accomplished TV industry veteran, most recently ran CBS Network TV Entertainment Group.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Tellem will report directly to Phil Spencer, corporate vp of Microsoft Studios.

It will be interesting to see what sort of programming Tellem and her Xbox team pursues within the walls of a software giant like Microsoft. The company is fond of referring to its Web-based subscription product Xbox Live, which reaches over 40 million subscribers globally, as rivaling the size of major TV networks.

Xbox has become aggressive over the past few years building out its increasingly central role in the digital living room. Besides partnering with both Verizon and Comcast to deliver cable TV through the Xbox console, Microsoft has partnered with dozens of media companies ranging from HBO to MLB to MSNBC to launch ad-supported apps via Xbox Live.

The company has also experimented with some gamer-oriented programming in the past, including the Web-born series The Guild, along with the show Inside Xbox, which was cancelled in May

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